This week the PGA Tour returns to Hilton Head, South Carolina, for its traditional post-Masters stop at Harbour Town Golf Links for the RBC Heritage. The 51st edition of this event boasts one of the strongest fields in tournament history this year, with eight players ranked inside the Top 20 in the Official World Golf Rankings teeing it Thursday. Satoshi Kodaira returns as the 2018 champion, winning last year’s event in a playoff over Si Woo Kim and besting DFS favorites Bryson DeChambeau and Luke List by a stroke. Thirteen players in 2018 finished within 3 shots of the lead, which is the typical bunched leaderboard we have come to expect at Pete Dye designs like Harbour Town. $6.9 million is in the purse this week, with the winner taking home a cool $1.2 million at an event in which the last six winners have trailed heading into Sunday’s final round. As we come down off the high of Tiger’s breathtaking win at The Masters last week, here are the things you need to know before building any lineups for this week’s RBC Heritage.
Harbour Town Golf Links is a 7,099 yard par 71 course that is one of the earliest Pete Dye designed tracks in the country. As the 11th shortest course on Tour in 2018, Harbour Town GL still poses a strong test for the players this week as it ranked as the 19th toughest course on Tour last season. The signature hole on this course is the 472 yard par 4 18th hole, which features the iconic Harbour Town lighthouse in the background as players approach the green. Only four holes on this course played under par last year, all three of the par 5s and the driveable par 4 9th hole. The par 5 2nd hole proved to be the easiest hole on this course last year with over 50% of the scores being under par on that hole last year, so players need to take advantage here or risk losing strokes to the rest of the field. All four of the par 3s here are protected by water hazards, with the 192 yard 14th hole being the most difficult hole in relation to par here last year, accounting for 17 double bogeys or worse.
Harbour Town GL is known for having some of the smallest greens on the PGA Tour, so ball striking is at a premium this week. To be more exact, the approach game has proven to be about three times as important in making the cut as off the tee game of players in the past, so err toward solid iron players this week when building your lineups. Driving accuracy is significantly higher here than most stops on Tour, which can be attributed to the necessity of positioning off the tee over raw distance. While more approach shots come out of the fairway here, the small greens result in a greens in regulation percentage here that is lower than what we usually see on Tour. Favoring players that can dial in their approach shots and scramble for pars if they do happen to miss greens are the selections you’ll want to make this week.
Last Year’s Results
Last year’s cut fell on (+2), but that was an afterthought for the guys that finished in the Top 5. Satoshi Kodaira claimed the Tartan Jacket with a stunning final round 66 (-5) to beat Si Woo Kim in a playoff and claim his first career victory on the PGA Tour.
Stat of the Week
Five of the last seven winners of the RBC Heritage either didn’t play at The Masters or missed the cut there. Tough trend to follow for sure as we love to use recent form as a strong indicator of how someone is playing, but that fact can’t go overlooked here. This would lead me to possibly play a little heavier in GPPs this week and take a few more fliers on guys that didn’t impress last week but are lacing them up again this week in Hilton Head.
Hilton Head looks to be packing a little bit of a punch come Friday if this weather pattern holds up. Obviously it’s too soon to tell when this weather might come in, but the winds should be pretty predictable at this point – and could make things more challenging for those players grinding to make the cut Friday afternoon.
Valero Texas Open Video of the Week
Here is the video preview of this year’s event presented by the PGA Tour. Look at all those beautiful jackets!
Rumor has it the guy in this video has won a few jackets throughout his career – but not that beautiful Tartan version players are vying for this week!
As always, thank you very much for giving my article a glance this week as you prepare for the RBC Heritage. If you have any questions you would like to ask me about your lineup or about my article in general, join us on DPA Premium where you can get exclusive access to myself as well as the rest of our other experts for NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL. I’ll be available to answer questions about your lineups this week from 9PM to 10PM on Wednesday, April 17th.
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Hopefully we will see you back here tomorrow for my DFS breakdown of the RBC Heritage field on DraftKings and FanDuel. This premium content will help you build your lineups for success in both cash games and GPPs as we work toward the PGA Championship, the season’s second major, in only a few short weeks. Until then, don’t worry about not getting the invite to Butler Cabin a few days ago – there is still a very fashionable coat up for grabs this week!